The Eagle Editorial Board Endorsement for City Council Primary

Wichita City Council District 1 candidate Brandon Johnson. Fernando Salazar The Wichita Eagle


The following is The Eagle editorial board’s recommendation for the Aug. 1 primary for the District 1 representative to the Wichita City Council. District 1 is the only race with more than two candidates, making a primary necessary. Voters in the district choose one candidate, and the top two finishers advance to the Nov. 7 general election. We offer this recommendation as information to consider as you make up your own mind about the candidates and issues. Go to for more about each candidate, including video of each talking about issues facing the district and city.

Wichita City Council District 1

In a race with solid candidates, Brandon Johnson is the clear choice to replace Lavonta Williams, who cannot run for re-election because of term limits.

Johnson, 31, is making his first run for public office on an already-long resume of community activism. Beginning at 19, he headed a summer jobs program that hired more than 1,000 people over 6 1/2 years. It was cuts to that program, he said, that made him aware of city government’s reach. Johnson is the best option to tackle the problem in a district where there are high pockets of unemployment.

Johnson is measured in many of his responses to issues affecting District 1 and the city, preferring to let current studies and recommendations take place, yet emphasizing public input before final action. One area where he differs is with a city decision is swimming pools. With no city pools open in northeast Wichita, Johnson favors reopening pools in Edgemoor and McAdams parks, both in the broad District 1 that goes as far north as 53rd Street, as far south as Mount Vernon, as far east as Rock Road and as far west as the Arkansas River.

Johnson favors hiring more police officers by finding other means of funding before agreeing to a mill levy increase.

He would be a patient, thoughtful council member and is an easy choice to advance to the general election.

Janet Wilson, 57, is another solid option for District 1. A retired aircraft worker, Wilson’s top priority is public safety and getting more police officers hired to combat the problem. She is critical of several recent city decisions, such as possibly remaking Naftzger Park and the closing of several city pools.

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